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View from the Kanzel in the Aigner Park at Salzburg | © Tourismus Salzburg
IN FOCUS: Aigen
Hiking, dining out and celeb-spotting: Aigen is an upscale Salzburg suburb with its own cavalcade of highlights, yet another vibrant part of our city of Mozart. Set out with us on a journey of discovery!
Noblesse oblige. Which also applies to Aigen!
Actually, this idyllic corner of the world between the River Salzach and the Gaisberg is one of the most upscale addresses in Salzburg. A fact that was even evident a few centuries ago: It was back in the year 1402 when the word “Aigen” first appeared in reference to a stately home. Aigen grew, first into a villa quarter, then into a whole separate section of town. Incidentally: The name “Aigen” comes from the Old High German word “eigan”, which refers to a privately-owned piece of property that can be passed down from generation to generation. Once again affirming that wealth is very much in the genes of this particular Salzburg suburb.
Celeb-spotting? Why not! With a little bit of luck, while you are in Aigen you might well bump into the likes of soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer or entrepreneur Renate Thyssen-Henne. The Porsche clan also owns substantial property here. However, Aigen’s most famous export to date continues to be one particular big and very high-profile family: In 1923, Villa Walburga, originally built by Valentin Ceconi in the 19th century, was bought by a corvette navy captain by the name of Georg Ludwig Ritter von Trapp. Does that name ring a bell? If “The Sound of Music” comes to mind, you are right on the mark! Something a lot of fans don’t know: The original Villa Trapp is now a hotel. You can spend a few nights there or, if you prefer, join one of the guided tours through its rooms.
Let us backtrack to the year 1402 for a moment. That stately home we were talking about was more of a manor house and didn’t actually acquire any kind of true-blue aristocratic associations until 1614. Today, we know it as Schloss Aigen. The property is characterized by its Biedermeier façade, a hipped roof and various influences from different eras, all of which attest to a very rich and eventful history. The former outbuilding now houses Gasthof Schloss Aigen, where diners are treated to an exquisite selection of palate-pleasers. Their specialty? Dishes featuring sensitively simmered beef creations!
In harmony with yourself and Mother Nature
Aigen isn’t just about the upper crust and suave sophistication. If you visit Salzburg and want to be as close to nature as possible, you might decide to rent a site at the Schloss Aigen campground. In this peaceful, picturesque setting, guests can relish every moment of their holiday and collect countless memorable impressions. Right behind the campground itself is a pathway leading up the Gaisberg. If you need a little extra sustenance before starting out, we suggest a quick visit to the campground snack bar. Rumor has it, they have the best rotisserie chicken in town. In other words, high time to check it out for yourself. Actually, even though we’ll save our own camping ambitions for another day, a relaxed stroll through the park will be all the excuse we need to pop in for a taste test of our very own.
Very British! Aigen Park was originally created in 1780 true to the English landscaping tradition. A few years later, Prince Schwarzenberg had the grounds expanded even more – and substantially so! Observation platforms, grottoes, waterfalls, bridges and the like add a very special atmosphere to this natural scene. Longer than anyone can remember, painters and poets have been extoling these grounds, dedicating timeless brushstrokes and words to it. Incidentally, this trend appears to continue unabated, even though, nowadays, we tend to express our excitement in the form of beautiful photos posted on social media. This idyllic patch of Salzburg also draws visitors from above. At regular intervals, paragliders take off from the top of the Gaisberg and, in some cases, land right there in the middle of Aigen Park. A colorful, impressive spectacle that prompts many a visitor to add another item to their personal bucket list – perhaps for their next visit to Aigen.